Pol­lies snap up free­bies

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - HOT TOPIC - ANNIKA SMETHURST NA­TIONAL PO­LIT­I­CAL ED­I­TOR

SPORTS-LOV­ING politi­cians have re­ceived thou­sands of dol­lars worth of free tick­ets to some of the coun­try’s big­gest events while on a break from Can­berra.

Gov­ern­ment doc­u­ments re­veal fed­eral MPs are be­ing show­ered with free­bies by sport­ing and cul­tural bod­ies which has seen them se­cure plum seats at the ten­nis, cricket and ma­jor con­certs.

Aus­tralia’s dis­mal per­for­mance in the cricket failed to de­ter our fed­eral MPs with Home Af­fairs Min­is­ter Pe­ter Dut­ton spot­ted at the Syd­ney Cricket Ground for the first day of the New Year’s Test.

As­sis­tant Min­is­ter for Home Af­fairs Linda Reynolds ac­cepted two passes to a Big Bash match at the WACA ground, while fel­low WA MP Steve Irons was at Perth’s Op­tus Sta­dium for Aus­tralia’s six-wicket loss in the first One-Day In­ter­na­tional.

With the Aus­tralian Open due to kick off to­mor­row, MPs are ex­pected to flock to Mel­bourne to catch some of the ac­tion at Rod Laver Arena.

La­bor back­benchers Matt Keogh, Pa­trick Gor­man and Josh Wil­son have had their ten­nis fix at the Hop­man Cup fi­nal where they were wined and dined in a cor­po­rate box last week. As a ju­nior player he may have de­feated Mark Philip­pous­sis in dou­bles, but Trea­surer Josh Fry­den­berg re­mained in the com­men­tary box dur­ing last week’s Kooy­ong Clas­sic.

Min­is­ter for Vet­er­ans’ Af­fairs Dar­ren Ch­ester was given two tick­ets to Welling­ton Phoenix’s 1-1 draw with Mel­bourne Vic­tory on De­cem­ber 28, cour­tesy of Tel­stra.

La­bor Se­na­tor An­thony Chisholm re­ceived four free tick­ets to watch the Soc­ceroos and Ko­rea face off in an in­ter­na­tional friendly at Sun­corp Sta­dium cour­tesy of on­line book­maker Bet365. As ex­pected, Sports Min­is­ter Brid­get McKen­zie has spent her sum­mer at some of Aus­tralia’s best sport­ing grounds in­clud­ing the MCG for the Box­ing Day Test. Se­na­tor Mc- Ken­zie tweeted that the cricket was re­spon­si­ble for “strong eco­nomic, cul­tural and so­cial links be­tween In­dia and Aus­tralia’’.

Mu­si­cal the­atre fan Christo­pher Pyne re­ceived two free tick­ets to see Mamma Mia in Ade­laide val­ued at $220. La­bor’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions spokes­woman Michelle Row­lands mixed high and low cul­ture with free tick­ets to see Bell Shake­speare’s Julius Cae­sar at the Syd­ney Opera House as well as a dou­ble pass to the film­ing of the My Kitchen Rules semi-fi­nal.

NSW Lib­eral Trent Zim­mer­man was shouted free tick­ets to Tay­lor Swift cour­tesy of Tab­corp.

Fed­eral MPs and sen­a­tors have 28 days to up­date the regis­ter af­ter re­ceiv­ing gifts such as free tick­ets.

Pe­ter Dut­ton, Linda Reynolds, Steve Irons and Josh Fry­den­berg.

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